• surgical knot;
  • suture tensile strength;
  • wound closure

Abdominal wound dehiscence is a surgical catastrophe that can be attributed to patients or technical factors. The technical properties of the monofilament sutures and knots that are commonly used in abdominal closure are poorly understood. The aim of this study was to compare the tensile strength of monofilament sutures tied with conventional knots. To do this, the knot-holding capacity of four types of knots (square, surgeons', Aberdeen and loop) were tested using three types of gauge 1 monofilament suture, namely nylon, polyglyconate and polydioxanone, using a tensiometer. We found that the knot-holding capacity of the loop knot was between twofold and threefold greater than all the other knots examined. In comparing suture types, polyglyconate had the highest knot-holding capacity for all the knots that were examined and there was no difference in the tensile strength of nylon and polyglyconate tied in a square, surgeons' or Aberdeen knot (P < 0.05). In conclusion, our findings suggest that closure of an abdominal wound would be best commenced with a loop knot, using gauge 1 polyglyconate and finished with either an Aberdeen square or surgeons' knot would be appropriate.